Fact-Based Analytics Empower Librarians to Fill In Content Gaps

To ensure that librarians are aware of the content you have authored and how it meets the needs of researchers, Elsevier is uniquely positioned to offer global research intelligence data to educational, government, and industry institutions to help them identify gaps in their resource offerings. Our “Gap Analysis” helps inform decision makers where research needs are not being met and provides solutions that ensure your book is reaching as wide an audience as possible.

Librarians, empowered with fact-based analytics, can increase the prominence and value of their libraries. By filling critical content gaps, providing content in desired formats such as ebooks, and educating themselves about research trends, librarians can become strong partners with their research communities in accelerating the pace of discovery.

Our goal is to provide librarians with greater visibility into usage behavior, as well as their institution’s and the world’s research trends, allowing them to provide greater access to the content library patrons want, and elevate their own stature within an institution.

We recently published a white paper on this topic as a component of an awareness campaign we deployed internationally, view it here: Library Content Acquisition: Hard data, shrewd investments.

Challenges Librarians Face Today

The long-accepted ways of acquiring new content are hard to shake, as is the dated perception of librarians as “curators.” Today’s librarians also have to cope with small or decreasing budgets that force them to spend less on books, in addition to heavy scrutiny of all expenditures.

At the same time, researchers and academicians are increasingly requesting access to more content, such as ebooks, that complements primary research. With limited funding, librarians often find it difficult to provide access to all the content patrons – researchers, faculty, and students – would like at the level expected in the 21st century. And when librarians do spend money on content, it can be a risky proposition due to a lack of good insight into actual researcher needs.

The Solution: Mind the Gap – Adopt a Strategic Acquisition Methodology

But if librarians think in a new way and move toward data-driven acquisition, they can provide greater access to the foundational and interdisciplinary content patrons want, and elevate their own stature within an institution.

1Since the library’s primary goal is to support the institution’s teaching or research efforts, librarians must align content with the direction the institution is heading. However, librarians must make these decisions in a more objective way. They must address the growing need for ebook accessibility, as well as the need to provide different types of content at various points within the research workflow.

Tracking and mapping “turnaways” – online search attempts that were left unfruitful – can help identify critical content gaps within an institution’s resource offerings. The turnaways become the proof that ebook content is valued and necessary for learning and research, providing a complementary view of a field of study.

By using fact-based analytical research to determine what a library has versus what its researchers, students, and educators actually need, librarians can achieve greater visibility into their institution’s usage behavior, as well as the world’s developing research trends. With this insight, librarians can make more valuable choices, and even advise their patrons on the institution’s research strengths, priorities, and direction.

Additionally, librarians can avoid investments in content that isn’t needed. Armed with objective data, a librarian will be able to confirm that all investments are supporting the overall goals of the institution. This reduces risk of using a limited budget on content that isn’t in demand and provides the greatest return on content investments.

Getting the Word Out: “Be In The Know”

To spread awareness of our Gap Analysis, we have developed a “Be In the Know” campaign targeted to key decision makers in educational, government, and industry institutions. Provided below are a few marketing examples that have helped drive awareness around this new methodology.

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Librarians Will Come Out on Top

Ultimately, librarians will have winning results. Researchers will better understand trends in their respective fields, and can more efficiently follow lines of inquiry and deliver timely results. They will see librarians as key contributors to institutional strategies, as well as facilitators and partners. By helping to drive research, learning, and teaching outcomes, librarians gain greater visibility and respect.

Is Your Librarian In The Know?

Make sure your librarian is aware of content gaps in your institution’s resource offerings. Pass this link on to your librarian to request a complimentary consultation to help evaluate which ebook purchases make the most sense for your library.

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